Dean Kate VandenBosch has named Sundaram “Guna” Gunasekaran to the position of faculty director of CALS International Programs. He will assume those duties on March 1, 2016.
Gunasekaran is a professor of food engineering in the department of biological systems engineering with a courtesy appointment in the department of food science. His research focuses on the rheology of food, especially cheese and, more recently, on the applications of nanotechnology and other methodologies as tools for pathogen detection and processing validation in foods.
Dean VandenBosch says, “During his career, Guna has actively sought approaches and collaborators from different disciplines across state and national boundaries, building a successful, multidisciplinary, multi-national program. This experience will serve him well in this new role.”
Gunasekaran’s international experience is geographically diverse – recently he was a visiting professor in South Korea, a Fulbright Fellow in Denmark, a USAID Farmers-to-Farmers consultant in Bangladesh and a mentor for a Syrian scientist under the Scholar Rescue Fund. He received his bachelors’ degree from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore, India, his masters’ in food process engineering from the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand and his PhD in agricultural and biological engineering from the University of Illinois.
As the leader of the college’s international programs, Gunasekaran will identify and pursue international activities consistent with the college’s strategic framework. He will lead efforts to identify new resources for international activities and will oversee the distribution of seed funding for new projects.
This position was created following recommendation of the strategic planning committee charged with recommending international priorities and plans.
John Ferrick of CALS International Programs says, “I am excited to work with Professor Gunasekaran in revitalizing a CALS IP office that fully supports our reputation as a global leader in addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues.” The CALS International Programs office will also continue to closely collaborate on study abroad programs with Susan Huber-Miller in the Office of Academic Affairs.